5G Technology Arrives in Sacramento

An image of Sacramento at night. Learn more about the 5G tech coming to the city.

5G Technology Arrives in Sacramento

September 28, 2018 | By The Railyards

The wait is almost over. Verizon is launching its 5G service in Sacramento on October 1st. Sacramento is the first city in the nation to experience this new, groundbreaking technology.

Keep reading to find out what that means for people who work, live, and connect in Sacramento.

What is 5G?

The fifth generation of wireless technology, 5G will provide users with the fastest and most robust technologies available.

Establishing a more powerful network, 5G internet technology will bring faster downloads and better connections to Sacramento. Not only will consumers have greater access to information and entertainment than ever before, but efficiency for business users will increase dramatically.

As Ronan Dunne, the Executive Vice President and Group President of Verizon Wireless, says, ”5G has the potential to join a very exclusive club―the handful of technologies throughout history that transform industries across every sector of the economy ... redefining work, elevating living standards, and having a profound and sustained impact on our global economic growth."

Why Sacramento?

Of the 11 cities Verizon picked to sample its fifth-generation internet access speed in summer 2017, Sacramento was the first.

Verizon’s new 5G home broadband internet – “the world’s first commercial 5G” – will be available for Sacramento residents starting on October 1st.

As Sacramento’s Chief Information Officer Maria MacGunigal, who worked on the public-private innovative partnership with Verizon, stated,

“Sacramento is taking a huge leap forward as a visionary for our community, an innovator in government and a heavy lifter in the world of technology.

“We have shown that we can build the infrastructure for companies to come here and deliver new products that will improve the lives of our residents. The arrival of 5G will change the technology landscape in Sacramento forever.”

What Does 5G Mean for Sacramento

Some of the benefits the city can expect to see with the implementation of next-generation internet service include:

  • smarter traffic signals
  • economic development
  • job creation
  • public safety benefits
  • education benefits

While expanding digital access for underserved areas of the community, 5G technology will also increase Sacramento’s efforts in establishing itself as an autonomous vehicle testing center.

Mayor of Sacramento, Darrell Steinberg, says, “This is a one-of-a-kind partnership to upgrade our City’s infrastructure to support the newest technology and an economy based on that technology.”

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Where Will 5G Be Available?

Installation of small-scale antenna cells, mounted on utility or city poles, is taking place throughout the Sacramento region, including the following areas:

  • Westlake
  • Sundance Lake
  • North Natomas
  • South Natomas
  • Mansion Flats
  • Downtown/ Midtown
  • East Sacramento
  • North Oak Park
  • Central Oak Park
  • Pocket
  • Valley Hi/ North Laguna
  • Colonial Village

While areas receiving service will be somewhat limited at first, Verizon plans to expand the technology rapidly.

Additionally, a major perk of Sacramento’s deal with Verizon is the inclusion of free wireless service at 27 public parks.

How Do You Get 5G Service?

As part of a special introductory offer available to “First On 5G” Members, Sacramento will get Verizon 5G Home free for three months. After this period of time, current Verizon Wireless customers with a qualifying smartphone plan will pay $50 per month for the service, while non-Verizon Wireless customers will pay $70 per month, with no additional hardware costs.

How 5G Works

5G service connects radio signals from small cell towers, enabling residents to experience gigabit speeds that were previously only available via costly copper or fiber-optic cables.

In trial runs, Verizon recorded speeds of up to 40 times faster than existing 4G technology – this means downloading a full-length feature film in 15 seconds time.

1G to 5G; A Brief History

In order to better understand what 5G is, it is helpful to have an understanding of the generations that came before it:

  • 1G: the first generation of mobile technology that was used to transmit voice communication, such as car and mobile phones.
  • 2G: the second generation technology that added in short-messaging capabilities
  • 3G: the third generation technology which included network speeds that could support smart-phones
  • 4G: the fourth generation mobile technology with very fast, efficient data-transfer rates
  • 5G: the fifth generation technology will utilize ultra-wideband network transfers that allow:
    • 100 times better throughput
    • 10 times longer battery life
    • 1,000 times larger data volumes
    • 10 times more reliability

Uses for 5G Technology

The five main applications for 5G are:

  1. Internet of Things (IoT) connection
  2. Broadband experience
  3. Smart vehicles, transport, and infrastructure
  4. All media
  5. Control of remote devices

Heightened processing powers combined with greater transfer speeds will enable more technology to connect, making home internet devices and other connected ‘things’ operate at a faster, more efficient rate.

Augmented and Virtual Reality applications will function well while waiting any amount of time for downloads will be a thing of the past. Also, it will become possible to control robotics and industrial applications from remote locations.

The city will witness the benefits experienced in our local industries and communities, with Sacramento positioned at the forefront of the fifth generation of internet technology.

Photo courtesy of Rick Galer.

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